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Thread: Bino's, what size is best?

  1. #1

    Bino's, what size is best?

    I am looking at getting my paws on some new bino's. I have an old pair of Optolyth Alpin 8x40's that I have had for 20 years. I seem to find I am not able to see far enough at times (when checking the target when zeroing tbh). I am new to stalking, what is the best magnification to go for 8x40, 8x42 or 10x40? Going to buy Swarovski's though.
    (Other option is off at a tangent...a new Beretta shotgun!).

    Any recommendations / advice on what I should be looking for would be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Funny enough, I was going to suggest something like one of the pairs I old pair of Optolyth Alpin 8x40 !!
    I also use Steiner 7x50's for better light gathering...

    IF as you say you are after more magnification, then it may be worth investing in a decent used telescope

  3. #3
    Depends on budget, but I think one of the best buys around just now is a secondhand pair of Swarovski 7x42 SLC's. There seems to be a few on the go as folk trade them in for the latest model.

    I have used mine for almost 16 years and recently sent them back for an overhaul. I was loaned a pair of the new HD bino's and admit to being tempted to trade in when they were returned.

    Never did and probably never will as I don't think there is better as an all round bino for hill and woodland stalking to justify the extra expense...

  4. #4
    Budget wise,peaking about 1400-1700 max. Looking at lifetime investment here!

  5. #5
    Hi koevoet,
    I have a pair of Swarovski 10x42 SLC's. Absolutely brilliant but you need to have a steady hand or use sticks to avoid shake. A pair of 8x42 might be better especially if your going to do any woodland stalking. I have tried the zweiss range finder binos and found them superb, think your budget might just stretch to these.


  6. #6
    I use 7x42 SLC and find them ideal for my stalking which is mainly woodland

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Koevoet View Post
    Budget wise,peaking about 1400-1700 max. Looking at lifetime investment here!
    well in that case a new pair of 7x42 Swarovski's!

    The loan pair I had last year were 10x42 SLC HD's. Whilst they were very good I honestly struggled to see the difference between them and mine with regards to light transmission.

    What I did notice though was a narrower field of view than the 7 power and as has been said already, more visible shake with the higher mag.

    As a compromise between the two suggested magnifications the 8.5x42 EL's are still in your price bracket.

  8. #8
    The 'pure' magnification is not always the best indicator of what you'll see - eg bullet holes. For want of a better phrase, resolution is the best thing to consider for this aspect.

    Much beyond 8x and a steady hold becomes important as the wobbles magnify as well. 10x seems about the upper end for freehand holding.

    Also beyond 8x there is a tendency for the image to flatten a bit which can be more tiring on the eye with protracted use.

    You don't mention what type of stalking you do mostly - forest/ hill/ fields etc - day/ twilight.

    But no issue with your choice of maker!

    Fully appreciate the appeal of new for the 'lifetime investment' side of things - but would seriously look at the reputable secondhand suppliers - Macleods, InFocus Optics etc. The 8.5x42 would be on the 'to have a try' list. Really would suggest at very least trying to hold and look through as many models as you can - sometime they'll feel/ view right others wrong - no matter the theoretical specification.

    Bullet holes - if a major use, go secondhand and get binoculars to suit your stalking then use the balance left over to get a spotting scope - 2 draw Optolyths have great optics and come up fairly often - but there's many others.

    Do let us know how you get on.

    PS - can be worth getting hold of an optical resolution target - J L Plasters Ultimate Sniper Book has one in it or if you have a good printer there are loads online via a google search. Can make choosing optics a bit more objective ( no pun! ) and gives you a ready comparison.
    Stalking and Courses
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  9. #9
    ive got a set of 10x50 slc's which if i remeber rightly i paid 840 last year (secondhand of course) and to be honest i wouldnt go any bigger mag wise as your going to strugle to hold them stready enough and if you were close enough i would gladly let you have a look through them

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the advice folk's. I have no qualms at all about not paying full price. I had a quick look at in focus optics ( once I found the correct one :-))Will have a look at the various models available.Then see what's kicking about 2nd hand b4 I splurge. Sounds like 8.5 is the best. Need to have a proper side by side comparison with my old Optolyths, they have been to Africa and back a few times but as they say technology moves on, they were bloody good at the time(20 yrs ago!). Will let you know how I get on. Out of the Country for a while yet though so nothing happening for a few weeks.

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